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Lecture 3

47-204 Lecture 3: Lecture 03

6 Pages

Social Work
Course Code
Kelly Ann Spezowka

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Lecture 3 204 September 14, 2017 The Social Work Vision: A Progressive View Social Works Origins - Charity Organization Societies (COS) - Scientific philanthropy and charity - Based on private volunteerism of friendly visitors - Belief that the right kind of people in society (i.e. white, middle class) knew what was in the best interest of all - Role of friendly visitors was to impose this vision on the poor through teaching them life skills and moral behaviour - Belief that poverty was due to personal deficiencies ; focused on individual level interventions (casework) which are the origins of clinical social work Settlement House movement - Focused on societal reform and community interventions - Believed that poverty (and problems related to poverty) not caused by individual failures but by systematic forces - Established houses in poor communities to work with (rather than on or for) people in poverty - Addressed community level problems (i.e. slum housing, crime, sanitation) that affected individuals - Basis of what we today call community organizing and community capacity building Social Workfrom Then to Now - Mullaly (2007) argues that despite these historical shifts in focus, micro or clinical social work has garnered more of social works attention because: o Schools of Social Work (at the university level) were primarily established by agencies that were originally involved in the COS movement o The first schools of social work (at the university level) were established when the medical model and related theories (like those of Sigmund Freud) were dominant Social Work todaytwo views: - Conventional Social Work: o Believes that social work can operate within the current system (current system may be flawed, but it should be preserved) o Job of social workers is to help individuals to maximize their personal potential and quality of life within the current system o Believes that current social institutions can meet peoples needs - our job is to ensure equal access to these institutions o Problems individuals face are best addressed with interventions targeted at individuals and their environments o Focuses on improving an individuals interactions with his/her environment as central to maximizing human well-beingLecture 3 204 September 14, 2017 o This is best done through personal change (i.e. counselling, life skills training, education) and making changes in an individuals environment (i.e. family counselling, enhancing social support, linkage to resources and services, advocating for improved resources and services) o Ecological and Person in Environment models believed to be the best basis for social work because of their focus on the transactions between individuals and their environments - Progressive/Critical Social Work: o Believes that the current system is not capable of meeting human needs and that the values underlying the current system are not consistent with the core values of social work o Social work cannot operate within the current system, it must fight for a new system (a new vision of society) o Job of social workers is not to help people survive and adapt as best they can to the current system but to advocate for societal change o Because the system is broken, interventions aimed solely at individual and environmental change are inadequate if not
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